Sabre Virtual Meetings to add video conferencing alternative to corporate travel portfolio, enhance workplace collaboration, and increase adoption of video solutions
SOUTHLAKE, Texas and PLEASANTON, Calif. – Nov. 3, 2011– Sabre Travel Network, a global technology leader serving travel agencies and corporations, and Polycom, Inc. (Nasdaq: PLCM), the global leader in standards-based unified communications (UC), announced today the two companies are developing the first global reservation system for booking and scheduling public and corporate-owned HD video conferencing and telepresence rooms. Sabre Virtual Meetings will allow users to locate, reserve, and connect public and corporate-owned video conferencing rooms and set up “face-to-face” HD video conferences with colleagues, partners, and customers anywhere around the world. When integrated into travel applications such as online booking tools or travel agency systems, employees, agents, travel arrangers, and other travel buyers will be able to reserve and schedule video conferencing rooms at the same time they book flights and hotels.
An industry-wide solution, the Sabre meeting room system will be open to multiple telecom and video conferencing providers, and be accessible through several travel and third-party distribution channels including global distribution systems, travel management companies, online booking tools, and directly on the Internet. Sabre Virtual Meetings will increase the adoption and use of corporate-owned video conferencing solutions, delivering a faster ROI on those assets. Additionally, the platform will increase use of public video conferencing rooms, such as those Polycom is helping to establish at Regus locations worldwide.
“Advances in technology have changed the way we live our lives and run our businesses,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “Sabre Virtual Meetings will create a step change in the way corporate employees communicate and collaborate with each other and their customers. By making telepresence scheduling as simple as booking airline travel, Sabre and Polycom will help companies and employees form closer relationships with customers, enhance internal collaboration and increase productivity.”
Sabre Virtual Meetings will allow travel buyers (including travel agencies, corporate travel managers, small-to-medium businesses, and corporate employees) to view conference room availability in real-time, review rates and features, and book meetings across geographic regions making reserving and scheduling video conference rooms as easy and intuitive as other travel options. Companies with their own video conferencing rooms will also be able to use Sabre Virtual Meetings to customize how they manage their rooms: making them available internally only, to select customers and partners, or to the broader public (as part of the Sabre Virtual Meetings public room selection). Sabre Virtual Meetings will offer a flexible platform to allow companies to choose how best to schedule and reserve their video conferencing rooms to get maximum ROI.
“Baker Hughes is a strong relationship-driven company. We value communication and foster long-lasting relationships,” said Clif Triplett, vice president and CIO, Baker Hughes. “We have made a significant investment in video-conferencing assets and it’s changing the way we operate. It’s become an important tool to leverage the strengths of a global company in bringing the best people together to solve problems, regardless of their location. I believe that the ability to use a tool that offers both video-collaboration and travel alternatives will take our video use to the next level. We have invested globally in video-conferencing resources and other collaboration assets and are very excited about what this partnership and technological solution will mean for our ability to maximize our investment.”
Sabre is a leading technology provider to the travel industry, powering a dynamic marketplace where travel buyers connect with travel suppliers. Used by more than a billion people annually, Sabre technology powers the travel industry 24 hours a day, processing more than one million travel transactions a minute. Polycom, a global leader in video conferencing software and solutions, is committed to open standards-based technologies that help people use video conferencing as their preferred method of communicating – easily, reliably and securely – regardless of network, carrier, protocol, application, or device. This partnership leverages Sabre’s strong heritage and unique expertise in building highly scalable reservation systems and Polycom’s leadership in video conferencing, technical expertise, and vast network of public room providers, service providers, and industry associations.
“Sabre Virtual Meetings is a bold new approach making it easier for companies to locate and reserve a video conferencing room – either as a complement to business travel or in lieu of it – to connect with their customers, partners, and vendors around the world,” said Sue Hayden, executive vice president, Polycom. “This solution will drive awareness and the use of video conferencing solutions, and help our enterprise customers maximize ROI on video conferencing technology investments while experiencing first-hand the advantages of visual communications.”
“The need for a centralized reservation system to facilitate business-to-business video meetings has grown tremendously in recent years. Incorporating a global reservation system into existing travel distribution channels is an innovative approach,” said Rich Costello, Senior Research Analyst, IDC. “Polycom and Sabre are addressing a real business need through the Sabre Virtual Meetings and I anticipate it will continue to drive the use of video solutions.”
Sabre expects to launch the new reservation system in the first half of 2012 through travel management companies and directly with corporations. Sabre is a member of Polycom’s extensive partner community, an ecosystem of companies who embrace an open standards-based, flexible approach to video conferencing.